Friday, June 12, 2015

the least tern show

So before I go do this week's shift, here's a post about last week.

Saturday June 6
AM Shift - North
Coffee of the Day: Sumatra
Bird of the Day: least tern
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: umm, Hooksett disk, just because I can't believe I'm still finding them.
Invisi-bird Status: Refuge: 33 pairs, 19 nests. Sandy Point: 9 pairs, 7 nests. Town Beach: 3 pairs, 2 nests. Number actually seen by me: 2.

My Reason for Being Here
I didn't have to wait long before the invisi-birds appeared. I heard them peeping as I was setting up my beach chair. There were two of them, but they were not acting much like a pair. All I saw them do was eat - separately.  The water line and the wrack line seemed equally appealing to both of them. There were a lot of flies in the wrack, which was also attracting lots of purple martins but for some reason no tree swallows.

Looking South
There were very few people on the beach all morning and most of them were fishing. Two guys seemed to be having all the luck, but none of the stripers they caught were keepers. I overheard one guy singing the praises of his bait - his awesome bait, which he claimed to love. Never heard anybody talk about bait like that before, even Kay.

Wrack Item of the Decade - A Hooksett Disk
I didn't need to spend much time talking with visitors as the fishermen were all well-behaved and well-informed, so I had plenty of time to watch the least tern show. And boy were they ever putting on a show! Three least terns drove off two great black backs and made it seem easy. I guess when you poop on your predators, they don't stick around. The real action was among the least terns themselves though. Lots of noisy aerial ballet and bringing of fish resulted in several pairs getting it on on the beach just below the foot of the dunes. The show went on for a couple of hours and I was still watching, fascinated, when Big Steve came to relieve me. It was quite a morning.

The Dunes Are Blooming
June was busting out all over in the dunes and along the edges of Parking Lot 1. I would have spent another hour taking photos of plants if I hadn't been in a hurry to get home for a work meeting.